Monday, March 16, 2020

Eating in San Francisco

The last week of February, I spent three-ish days in San Francisco before heading a touch north to the San Rafael area. There are no shortages of outstanding places to eat in San Fran. Need more time, money and frankly stomachs to really do it any justice, but here's a look at where we ate. (If you follow my Stories on Instagram, you may have seen some of these posted there.)

Thank goodness we had a reservation for State Bird Provisions because when we got there at 5:30 pm when they opened, the line was halfway down the block. They have menu items that can be ordered, and they also come around with trays or carts like dim sum service. Here are a few of the highlights.
State Bird Provisions hearts of palm
Hearts of palm spring roll with Buddha's hand and chile yuzu aioli. I never have liked hearts of palm much until now!
State Bird Provisions ohitashi
Farm green ohitashi (spinach soaked in soy + dashi) with cashew cream and meyer lemon ponzu.
State Bird Provisions oysters
Hog Island (north of San Francisco) oysters, housemade potato chips, and an amazing smoked trout dip on the second shelf.
State Bird Provisions beef tongue
The most tender beef tongue on poppyseed buckwheat pancakes. One of my favorites on the evening.
Lunch in Japantown at Nande-ya, one of the small spots in the Japan Center mall, which really did remind me of actually being in Japan.
Nande-ya Japantown soba unagi
Soba with tofu pockets (inari) and grilled eel (unagi); this was a great value! The lunch menu gave you about twelve different items, and you picked two for about $14.

Chapeau! Bistro had outstanding service and food from start to finish.
Chapeau Bistro kabocha soup
Roasted kabocha squash soup with pumpkin seeds; velvety smooth and delicious.
Chapeau Bistro duck salad
My father's Salade Landaise, with duck three ways: confit, liver mousse, and cured duck breast.
Chapeau Bistro mussels
Mussels in a white wine sauce, and there were pomme frites on the side.
Chapeau Bistro bouillabaisse
My mother's bouillabaisse with a ton of seafood in it, scallops, mussels, shrimp, and fish.

Chapeau Bistro french toast
French toast with salted caramel, hazelnuts, and vanilla ice cream.
Sunday morning at Yank Sing, one of the classic dim sum restaurants in the city. Afterwards, we walked over to peek at the Ferry Building, a food-lovers wonderland.
Yank Sing dim sum dumplings
Spinach dumplings, snow pea leaf dumplings, and shrimp shumai.
Yank Sing Peking duck
Peking duck with amazingly crispy skin. And while you can't see it, these were very meaty pieces of duck with no extra grease.
Just open since last August is Nari, sister restaurant to Kin Khao. Modern Thai that is already getting rave reviews. My father had read about them in the New York Times and was able to get us a reservation. Loved every bite!
Nari miang
Miang, or little leaf-wrapped savory bites. This version was sorrel leaves with apple, trout roe, lemongrass, lime, coconut and fish caramel sauce. The perfect bite of all the flavors.
Nari yum sum-o
Yum som-o: hearts of palm (again!), pomelo, crispy dried shrimp, chili jam dressing. 
Nari Massaman gae lamb curry
And one of the best things I have ever eaten, massaman gae, lamb shank in curry sauce. The meat just fell off the bone and the sauce was filled with rich flavors. I need to figure out how to make this sauce.
Breakfast one morning at Jane on Fillmore. Would have liked to gone to the actual bakery, but next time!
Jane Nutty Bird Toast
The Nutty Bird Toast, a gluten free bread with nuts and seeds, served with almond butter and jam. Loved this bread.
A shout out to the Panama Hotel in San Rafael! This quirky, historic hotel has rooms of different sizes and themes. I was in the Captain's Room, complete with kitchenette, and it was perfect for one person.
Panama Hotel
Panama Hotel
Panama Hotel Captain's Room
The Captain's Room had a nautical theme, though you can't tell from the photo.
Panama Hotel mushroom ravioli
Their on-site restaurant was quite nice too, with a complimentary breakfast spread for guests, and a popular dinner spot, some nights with live music. This is wild mushroom + ricotta ravioli with a lemon beurre blanc sauce.
I also enjoyed the Marine Mammal Center in Marin, where they rescue and rehab seals and otters.
Marine Mammal Center
Marine Mammal Center
Elephant seal statue.
And just a few minutes away from the MMC was this beautiful overlook! Thanks for a delicious time, San Francisco! What are your favorite places to eat in San Francisco?
San Francisco from Marin